This episode starts where the last one ended, with Lorelai and Spacey Grandpa on the porch discussing Rory’s future. Spacey Grandpa doesn’t like that Rory is planning tea parties like she’s the Mad Hatter. I’m assuming he means this Mad Hatter:
HEAD CANON ACCEPTED!
Spacey Grandpa thinks that he can bribe Rory into going back to school. Lorelai doesn’t think Rory can be bought, but this is obviously because she doesn’t know about the Birkin. Of course Rory can be bought! Smarmy’s family insulted her to her face the first time they met, but she was more than happy to pretend none of that happened to take Poppa Smarmy’s internship.
After Spacey Grandpa stalks off in a self-righteous rage, Lorelai tells Luke that Rory’s birthday is coming up and since they aren’t speaking they can’t do “the plan.” The plan was for Rory and her mom to go play blackjack and drink when Rory turns 21. I love my parents, but my 21 birthday was not planned out to involve them. I did got to dinner with them and then my friends and I went to a goth club to drink and dance. I think I had one drink (a screwdriver, because it’s the only drink I knew the name of at the time.) Lorelai and Rory had a plan that involved presumably dirty things with 21 guys. There wasn’t one guy (let alone 21) involved on my 21st birthday. What has to happen to you in your life that you have the confidence of a Lorelai? Someone who can believe that if you want to pick up 21 guys for the fuck of it that you can? Is it the money? The immunity to calories? The blue eyes?
On the morning of her birthday, Rory has a dream where Madeline Albright comes into her room and reprises the Rory/Lorelai birthday scene from season 1. (I too would like the humidity thing to go away. When I lived in Boston, I spent all my summers with triangles of hair. I looked like Gilda Radner in that SNL sketch, but my hair was bigger:)
Judgy WASP Mom asks Smarmy if he had any plans for Rory’s birthday. He didn’t, because he didn’t know about it. Sure. Let’s pretend that’s believable. Smarmy acts all butthurt about Rory not telling him about her birthday, but the scene is staged in such a way that I’m paying more attention to the lamp in between them than I am to them.
I like that lamp.
This is probably the time I should mention that when I conducted my speed watch of the series a few months back, I scrubbed through every scene with Rory in it. I don’t find her interesting outside of Yale, and I certainly don’t find her scenes with Smarmy interesting. Now I have to watch them all and I am sad.
Rory tells Smarmy about the plan and he offers to take her to Atlantic City so she can do the plan. She doesn’t want to, not without her mother. She will, however, have Judgy WASP (and slightly racist) Mom send Lorelai an invitation to the chi chi birthday party.
Later, after Spacey Grandpa catches Rory and Smarmy “necking” in the car, Judgy WASP Mom thinks that Rory may be “getting ready” to have sex with him.
Instead of just sitting Rory down and having a straight conversation about sex with her, they invite a Reverend over to dinner who slut shames the shit out of Rory and any other woman who has had sex outside the bonds of marriage. He’s laying on the “women are only valuable as virgins and their ‘purity’ is literally the only thing of worth women have. Not their brains, not their talents, not what they choose to do with their lives, no! The only thing that matters is the number of penises that have been inside her body (sorry, lesbians, you do not exist in this world.)” The idea is that the only thing a woman will ever have that’s worth anything can be taken from her in seconds. It’s not something she has to work for, it’s not a talent she needs to cultivate or something she needs to spend decades of her life studying. And that super valuable thing is a “prize” she then has to give to some dude, usually when she’s really young, and usually in an encounter that isn’t all that pleasurable for her. Then once it’s gone, nothing else that woman will ever do in her life will matter as much as when she had penetrative penis-in-vagina sex for the first time.
Rory tells the good Reverend that the virginity ship has sailed (I swear I didn’t know that when I selected my earlier gif.) She should have told him to fuck himself 6 ways from Sunday and that who she sleeps with his none of his god damned business.
When Rory discovers that Lorelai hasn’t RSVP’d for her birthday, she calls and yells at Luke. Lorelai, who assumed the invite was a scheme hatched up by her parents (in fairness to Lorelai – that sounds like something they’d do) immediately says she’ll attend the party.
Lane and Zach come to Rory’s party. I feel bad for Lane – Rory is in a very lovely dress and Lane is wearing what looks like a t-shirt with some rhinestones glued to the sleeves. I realize Alexis Bledel is the star here, but at least get this girl some straps or something that looks like it once belonged at a prom.
Paris and Doyle arrive to tell Rory that Paris is now the editor of the Yale Daily News. This depresses both Rory and Lorelai. So much so that Rory totally blows Lorelai off and makes her feel like utter shit for even entertaining the idea of coming to the stupid party. Judgy WASP Mom is in rare form when she offers Lorelai “congratulations” after spotting the ring on Lorelai’s finger. She’s such a witch in this episode.
Spacey Grandpa, the entire reason Lorelai’s plan for getting Rory to go back to school failed, is sulking in his office because he doesn’t think Rory will ever go back to school. It’s about time he feels bad. This is all his fault. During the episode where he and Judgy WASP Mom tell Lorelai that Rory will be living with them for awhile, I got the feeling that Judgy WASP Mom didn’t actually agree with this plan but she was going along with it because that’s what her husband wanted. She’s a good wife, so she will support him, even if she felt it was a mistake.
Spacey Grandpa mopes about the “sex mattress” he bought for Rory and Judgy WASP Mom comes in to tell him to stop moping, they haven’t failed with Rory until she comes home pregnant (have you guys not heard of birth control, or…? Like, a frank, honest, talk about birth control would probably be more effective than burning the pool house to the ground so she can’t fuck in it. Just sayin’.)
He says that they failed the minute they went against Lorelai’s plan to get Rory back in school. Judgy WASP Mom, who admits that she only went along with Spacey Grandpa’s plan because it was his idea, doesn’t understand why he’s so against what Rory is doing. Or why he’s so against his granddaughter living the life of his wife. Isn’t it funny how men love when their wives spend their time devoted to planning parties and charity events, but they cannot abide their daughters or granddaughters doing the same? Almost as if they recognize how little value others see in the type of work the Judgy WASP Moms of the world participate in.
Rory and Lorelai have an awkward conversation, Lorelai feels left out of Rory’s life, and then the party is over.